View Full Version : Air France Dublin - LCY 01/07 - undercarriage emergency

2nd Jul 2008, 09:03
Hi guys,

Quick query for you. My girlfriend flew from Dublin to LCY yesterday with Air france and had a bit of a nightmare trip. The flight was due to leave at 17:25ish, but was initially cancelled due to a technical fault. They then fixed it and the plane left at almost 21:00 (she was a bit vague with the time). On the approach to LCY the plane developed an undercarriage fault, and the plane had to make an emergency diversion to Stansted, landing very roughly indeed (shes a frequent enough flyer to know the difference between a landing and a rough landing!) and then taxied off while being escorted by fire engines. They were then kept on the plane till the risk of fire had been eliminated, and then disembarked. Although Air France provided a bus to London Liverpool Street, they didnt get there till long gone midnight, and she had to find a cab to get her home.

Shed like to write to Air France for two reasons firstly to compliment them on the very high levels of professionalism displayed by the CC during the incident she felt it was very reassuring indeed as she was very nervous. They were apparently very good at communicating what was going on, and reassuring the passengers.

Shed also like to get some form of compensation I think she should ask for a full refund of the ticket cost following an experience like this, plus a refund for the cab. Is this reasonable?

Were not having a go at AF with the possible exception of dumping their passengers at Liverpool Street once all the last trains had gone for the night, but I think she would like her money back!

Id welcome any thoughts,

2nd Jul 2008, 09:48
The airline contracted to get her to London City. In view of the late arrival, they dropped her at a railway station where further transport is readily available. They could have dumped the passengers at London City at that time of night! In short, they co-operated for her convenience. I think you will find there is no further liability for the segment of her journey on from the contracted destination. As to the question of liability for hurt feelings for the incident, it was relatively minor. People experience far worse incidents like engine fires without compensation. As for the delay, it was only a few hours- doubtful whether any compensation is likely for that. As for the hard landing, I have done a few of those! My worst was with Earl Mountbatten himself on board at Rangoon. Nobody ever even thought about compensation in those days.

Sadly, we live in a compensation culture now. We see it all around us, people sueing for absurd reasons and winning giant payouts- the school handyman who falls off a step ladder and sues because 'he was never trained in how to use a step ladder', the Army major who decides he is really a she and needs compensation for hurt feelings! We all pay for this nonsense, in taxes, ticket prices. Your girlfriend would do well for her own self respect to stick to recounting the disaster at parties and laughing it off. She hasn't had bad 'done to her'. The airline did its best in difficult circumstances with obviously a tech defect out of the blue, and recovered the situation as best it could.

2nd Jul 2008, 09:56
"The airline contracted to get her to London City. In view of the late arrival, they dropped her at a railway station where further transport is readily available."

It was almost 1am by the time the coach had got there. The last trains would have gone 2 hours before. Had they sent them there during the day, then I'd agree it was their responsibility to get home. Late at night, when no public transport is running beyond the odd night bus, then its a different story. It would have been a very expensive taxi ride back for a lot of passengers or a further night stop. Had AF run to time, they'd have had a 5 hour window to get onward public transport to final destinations.

2nd Jul 2008, 17:41
Perhaps an appeal to AF would get you the cab fare, but don't expect a ticket refund. If the aircraft had to divert due to a medical emergency, would you expect a refund? Next it'll be compensation for the emotional anguish brought on by a go around.

2nd Jul 2008, 19:36
I am just a country boy from Hampshire, but onward taxis would be more readily available from Liverpool St. at 1 am I think. There maybe a case for trying to claim for the minor element of transport from Liverpool St. to home address- does she have the receipt? As for the rest of it, I think it would be put down to force majeure, or Act of God or whatever expression they use. Just as if one goes by sea, one must expect to occasionally get caught in a storm, technical defects can disrupt aviation more frequently- you cannot take undercarriage or flap problems into LCY, and there is a lot of resistance to joining the compensation bandwagon every time something goes wrong. Good luck, and please report the outcome for educational use!

7th Jul 2008, 20:19
She should definitely get the EU delay compensation, I think. This is compensation for the inconvenience and does not replace accommodation or onward transport by other means.
European Commission Regulation 261/2004 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Commission_Regulation_261/2004) has a pretty good explanation of it, though the exact wording should be found on an EU official website. AF should have offered this compensation without being asked (though I don't think it's up to CC to do this, should be ground staff).
It appears that AF got her where she was going, so they held up that part of their obligation, but not the compensation part. In her position I would write a polite letter praising the crew of the aircraft and asking about the compensation due under the above regulation.

10th Jul 2008, 08:27
If I'd found myself in those circumstances there's no way I'd even try to claim any compensation. I can imagine AF purposefully chose to drop passengers at Liverpool Street for the, fairly obvious, reasons pointed out by previous posters. Unexpected delays and expenses are all part of travelling and you can't blame everything on your airline.

The only circumstance in which I might have been unhappy is if this had been the return journey and I'd left my car at LCY. That said, it's highly doubtful whether I'd even bother to claim a 20 or 30 taxi ride from Liverpool St. to LCY from AF, though I'm sure they would have been happy to make the payment.